Lafontaine joined Store Brands Executive Editor/Associate Publisher Greg Sleter to discuss 2023 at-large, how shoppers could evolve their habits after a turbulent 2022, what retailers should do to stay ahead of the curve and more. The full webinar can be viewed on-demand here.
“Retail is often very cyclical, but also I think 2022 in particular was this really volatile year, and we had a lot of highs and lows,” said Lafontaine. “We started 2022 with a consumer who was in a relatively good place, and as we went over time, a lot of the trends and a lot of chaos that the consumer was experiencing really built up to leave us where we are in 2023. Inflation was sort of the ‘buzzword’ of the year, and the consumer felt a lot more chaotic than in years past.”
Lafontaine added that 2023 may be a year that still has some of that same turbulence. She cited rightsizings, challenges for specialty and direct-to-consumer retailers, decreases in spending from high-income shoppers and continued growth of private label as potential trends to watch in the coming year.
“Everything that’s up must come down at some point, and I think we are kind of on the precipice of dealing with some economic uncertainty and a lot of headwinds with a challenged consumer that are going to change the landscape of the industry overall,” she said. “I don’t want to paint this picture of doom and gloom because I think it’s easy to forget that up until the pandemic period, our industry was incredibly challenged. We’ve been there before, we will come through it the same way we have before."